A private university in Kentucky is the latest Christian school to draw criticism for adhering to biblical sexual ethics. Asbury University – like so many others in Christian academia – is being hard-pressed by the culture to adopt pro-LGBTQ doctrine.
Ever since Asbury University reportedly declined to renew the contract of two "LGBTQ-affirming" educators – professor Jon Roller, founder of the school's Worship Arts Program; and assistant professor of music education and voice Jill Campbell – it has been under major scrutiny.
"Jon was told in his tenure meeting, 'You do not belong here,'" worship leader Derek Chilton – who set up a GoFundMe page for Roller – was quoted in a recent column in the Lexington Herald-Leader. "There was no thank you, no appreciation and no reason for the non-renewal – other than Jon being LGBTQ-affirming. His contract was not breached, and there was no budget cut."
Bill Mefford, a former senior staff member of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society – who mocked a March for Life demonstration by brandishing a "I march for sandwiches sign" – was also quoted in the column, insisting Asbury University is more conservative than Asbury Theological Seminary.
"So, I always thought if this is happening at the seminary, I can't imagine what it's like to be LGBTQ or LGBTQ-affirming at the university," he complained.
Last year, he opposed those who chose God's Word over man's concerning marriage.
"In August 2019, Mefford signed an open letter– alongside some 70 other Asbury Seminary alumni and current students – chastising seminary faculty, students and President Emeritus Rev. Maxie Dunnam for their support of the United Methodist Church's Traditional Plan at the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference," the Juicy Ecumenism blog recounted.
Former Asbury University journalism professor David Wheeler, who reportedly left the school because it affirms biblical sexuality, also took aim.
"It is a tragedy for an institution of higher education to be so closed-minded that they would deny someone tenure for being LGBTQ-affirming, but that is clearly the direction Asbury is going," Wheeler was quoted in the op-ed. "No room for nuanced views. Only anti-LGBTQ hysteria."
Asbury's only crime – according to its critics – is being "closed minded" by siding with God.
No concessions ...
However, Asbury has always been clear that it stands by God regarding human sexuality.
"A faithful interpretation of Scripture affirms the principle that sexual purity honors God and that all forms of sexual intimacy that occur outside the covenant of heterosexual marriage are sinful distortions of the holiness and beauty for which God intended," the Asbury University Statement on Human Sexuality reads.
"We believe that the sin of sexual immorality (e.g., pre-marital sexual behavior, adultery for the heterosexually married person, polygamy, polyandry, pornography, incest, and all forms of same-sex practice) is about the behavior."
This robust stand on biblical sexuality has been confirmed by many statements made by Asbury over the years.
"[W]e do not surrender the biblical standard of sexual purity to the prevailing secular culture…" the university declared, according to Juicy Ecumenism.
Asbury has been tried and tested when pressed to cave to the LGBTQ agenda in order to normalize and promote unbiblical sexuality, says David Prince, assistant professor of Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"LGBTQ is not being singled out by churches and institutions who hold to the historic biblical witness, but rather by those who seek to legitimize it as normative in the church and Christian academy," Prince wrote in an article challenging Chilton's op-ed. "Other sins – which must be unapologetically called what they are, as well – do not have constituencies seeking normalization and affirmation."
Prince also called out the LGBTQ propaganda of those seeking to undermine Christian sexual morality.
"Let us be clear, the Bible-believing church and academy does not believe that sexual sin is beyond the scope of the gospel or carries a greater moral weight than a host of other sins," Prince impressed. "Nevertheless, we rightly resist – without equivocation – when anyone suggests that we stop calling sin, sin … and instead start calling it sacred."